Community Programs

Adopt-a-Tree:
Community Syruping Program

Ongoing through Mid-March

Make Up Dates Available!

Adopt a maple tree for the season! Learn about and participate weekly in the entire syrup making process, from tapping a maple tree to sap collections and boil downs. You’ll even get your very own bottle of NCNC-made maple syrup at our Pot-luck dinner in March.

The Adopt a Tree Kickoff Event was on February 3rd. Couldn’t make it on the 3rd but still want to participate? No worries! We are more than happy to set up a makeup date for you and your family/group to come select your tree (takes approx. 20-30 minutes). Please call (203) 966-9577 x1042 today!

Participants then collect sap 1-3 times a week (depending on sap flow conditions) for the entire syrup season (typically 4-6 weeks) and take part in boil downs where REAL maple syrup is made right here at NCNC.

$75/family or group

Syrup Saturday:
A Pancakes & PJ’s Party

March 10

Saturday, March 10th
8:30am – 11:30am

Bring the whole family and join us for our annual end of syrup season celebration – you won’t want to miss our famously delicious Pancakes & PJ’s party, complete with TONS of fun syrup-related activities! We’ll be serving up flapjacks, syrup, and an array of tasty toppings in the Visitor Center, while leading tree tapping demos, a real maple sap “boil down,” campfire with marshmallows, real v. fake syrup taste test, and NEW maple syrup Instagram scavenger hunt.

All are welcome and encouraged to dress in their PJ’s!

Also NEW for 2018: 

VIP Lounge Dining

Reserve your very own table and unique dining experience in the VIP Lounge of the NCNC Green House! Let our staff wait on you! Enjoy the bounty of our Pancakes & PJ’s Party, PLUS more: sausage, fresh fruit, Nutella, whipped cream, and home-made NCNC maple syrup!

Seating Times: 8:30am or 10:00am

Pre-registration by March 6th at 4pm is mandatory as seating is extremely limited. Table prices include admission and all additional Syrup Saturday activities.

The SWEETEST Syrup Supporter Contest

Do you think you have what it takes to be named the NCNC’s biggest maple syrup supporter? Prove it and WIN!

  1. Post a picture on Instagram that showcases why you are a SWEET Syrup Supporter with the hashtags: #newcanaannaturecenter #ncncsweetestsyrupsupporter
  2. Get your friends to “like” your post
  3. Winner is determined by the photo with the most “likes” by Saturday, March 10th at 11:00am
  4. To win you must attend Syrup Saturday

Winner is entitled to: 1 Bottle of NCNC-made Maple Syrup, 1 Tap My Trees Starter Kit, and 1 Year Family Membership to New Canaan Nature Center.

What are you waiting for? Get posting!

Registration Information:

VIP Lounge Dining (8:30am-9:45am OR 10:00am-11:15am)

Table of 4: $30
Table of 8: $60

General Admission (continuous from 8:30am-11:30am)

Member: $8/person
Non-Member: $10/person
(Kids Under 2: Free)

The Great Egg Hunt &
Spring Celebration

March 29 – 31

Thursday, Friday & Saturday
March 29th, 30th & 31st 

See below for specific times

Perfect for children, ages 2-10, our egg hunts are designed for smaller groups (approximately 25 per hunt) and, in addition to the hunt, include an egg & spoon obstacle course and meet & greet with our baby chicks & bunny rabbits. Just BYOB (bring your own basket) for collecting eggs (which contain nature-themed prizes and nut-free sweets).

Members: $10/Child
Non-Members: $15/Child

Saturday, March 26th ONLY: Rabbit Rescue Fundraiser

Greens to feed the bunnies from Hop-a-long Hollow Rabbit Rescue will be available for cash purchase! All donations will go to finding “forever homes” for these rescued rabbits.

Earth Week Events

April 16 – 21

Earth Day is April 22nd so come CELEBRATE the whole week leading up to Earth Day with us! More information and a schedule of events coming soon.

Spring Peepers Night Hike

April 20

Friday, April 20th
6:30pm – 8:00pm

Come explore the magic of spring and Earth Week with us! We’ll visit the Nature Center’s vernal pools and ponds to listen for the peeps and croaks of frogs and other amphibians that let us know spring is in full swing. We’ll also journey through the woods and into the meadows in search of some awesome invertebrates, birds, and bats.

Members: $10/person
Non-Members: $15/person

Community Garden

May – October

“Adopt” a plot in our community garden for the growing season (May-November)! Each 3×3 foot plot is located in a deer-fenced and gopher-protected area near the Herb Garden and all participants will have access to tools, watering facilities, and community guidance. The perfect opportunity for novices and experienced gardeners, alike!

Friday Family Fun Night: TBD

May 18

Our next Friday Family Fun Night will take place in May. Stay tuned for the event’s theme and then be sure to gather the entire family and come on out to NCNC for some good ole’ fashioned FUN with the nature center Naturalists!

Great American Campout

June 23 – 24

Join us for an evening full of fun and adventure by camping out in New Canaan’s favorite backyard! You won’t want to miss the fun & games on the Green, BBQ dinner, night hike, and campfire complete with S’mores. In the morning, enjoy a light breakfast of bagels, juice, & coffee. Just bring your own tents & camping gear, we’ll provide the rest.

Night of 1,000 Fireflies

July 7

Come and enjoy the magic of the midsummer night at the Nature Center. Join our Naturalists as we search for woodland creatures (wiggly worms & aquatic amphibians) and other enchanted mysteries of the evening, before delighting in the awe-inspiring beauty of our meadows aglow with the soft light of 1,000+ fireflies!

Creatures of the Night… Hike!

August 25

How do your nighttime senses compare to those of the nocturnal animals that call NCNC home? Join us for a guided night hike and try your hand at our naturalist-led challenges to find out! First we’ll put your night vision to the test to find out if you can see as well as an owl in the dark. Then we’ll focus on your sense of smell, hearing and touch!

Cider Saturday

September 15

Celebrate the fall cider season here at NCNC! Come and enjoy an early autumn afternoon of family fun with cider press demonstrations, old-fashioned games, honey bee hive tours, a pumpkin scavenger hunt, seasonal harvest crafts for kids, baked apples, and corn bread on a stick. Fill your bellies with delicious corn dogs, grilled corn, fresh cider, and baked goodies, all available for purchase.

Halloween Spooktacular

October 26

Get into the Halloween spirit by joining us for this spooktacular celebration, NCNC-style. We’ll learn about and meet some creepy critters who remind us of All Hallows Eve (spiders, bats, snakes, & more), before getting the chance to make our very own slime. We’ll wrap up the evening by enjoying a one-of- a-kind jack-o- lantern experience. Costumes are encouraged.

Awesome
Autumn Day

November 6

Vote for Nature on Election Day! Come on over to NCNC to enjoy a beautiful autumn day with your kids and the NCNC naturalists. Frolic in the leaves and take part in field games, such as pumpkin ring toss, corn hole, and parachute games, anytime from 1-3pm. Naturalists will also be leading autumn-themed relay races across the Green!

Thanksgiving
Weekend Waddle

November 24

Naturalist-led Trail Treks depart the Sugar Shack at 10:00am & 11:00am

Grab the entire family (and any lingering holiday visitors too!) and head on down to the New Canaan Nature Center! Join the NCNC Naturalists for a healthy, invigorating Trail Trek to work off that holiday meal. As an extra Thanksgiving bonus, after our hike, you’ll also get to enjoy a FREE behind the scenes tour of our Animal Care facilities & Birds of Prey Exhibit – our way of saying “thank you” to the community.

Winter
Wonderland

December 2018

Come and be transported into a whole new world as the New Canaan Nature Center transforms into a Winter Wonderland filled with fun and exciting seasonal activities for the entire family. Festivities include visits with Santa, horse-drawn wagon rides ($5/person), holiday trains, campfire with chestnuts & marshmallow roasting, our annual gingerbread house creation contest, caroling with the Bojanglers of CT, and so much more!

Holiday
Break Programs

December 2018

Come on down the hill and join other enthusiastic kids as our expert staff lead a variety of wintry adventures throughout our 40-acre preserve and celebrate the holiday season in true NCNC fashion as nature intended.

Owl Moon
Night Hike

 January 2019

Let the light of the FULL moon be your guide as we explore magic in the woods and unravel the mysteries of our nocturnal neighbors, the owls. We’ll discover how owls use their keen senses to navigate the night and learn first-hand how they can hunt in the dark. We’ll even “give a hoot” and see if we can identify owls by their tell-tale calls, before getting to meet a couple owls up close & personal.

Winter
Break Programs

February 2019

Out of school and looking for some wintry fun in the great outdoors? Come down the hill and join other enthusiastic kids as our expert staff lead a variety of winter-themed adventures throughout the 40-acre expanse of NCNC. Partake in nature games, crafts & activities!

For children ages 3-5 only.